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April 20, 2014

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Coolio tells judge he’s hired lawyer for domestic abuse case — but rapper can’t say who

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Bethany Barnes

Coolio (aka Artis Ivey) appears in court for domestic battery, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013.

Coolio Appears in Court

Laurie Diefenbach of the Clark County Public Defender's Office and rapper Coolio listen to Judge Melanie Tobiasson during Coolio's court appearance on a domestic violence charge. Diefenbach showed the rapper the deal offered by the prosecution as a friend of the court. Coolio refused the offer and was given 30 days to decide if he would like to represent himself in the case. Launch slideshow »

It appears Coolio won’t be representing himself in a domestic violence case, though it is still unclear whom his attorney will be.

The 50-year-old rapper showed up about an hour late for his 8 a.m. status check in Las Vegas Township Justice Court to confirm whether he wanted to hire a lawyer. When Coolio wasn't in court at 8 a.m., Judge Melanie Tobiasson, appearing bemused, remarked that Coolio probably would show and allowed the case to remain on the schedule until he arrived.

When he did arrive, wearing a white button-down shirt and jeans, he was able to tell Tobiasson he’d hired a lawyer.

The questions after that, such as who the lawyer was, were trickier.

“You don’t remember her name? What’s she look like?” Tobiasson asked.

Coolio said he met the attorney after his last court appearance and was able to remember that she was blonde. He also said that the reason he was hesitant to hire an attorney is because the alleged victim is unlikely to show up.

Tobiasson said that didn’t matter and that Coolio's attorney will need to confirm that she is representing him on Aug 15.

“Can we start the trial on that date?” Coolio asked.

Tobiasson laughed and explained that having a trial on that date would not be possible but that she could set a trial date within 15 days once it is confirmed that he has an attorney.

Coolio, best known for his 1995 chart-topping and Grammy Award-winning hit, “Gangsta’s Paradise,” is charged with misdemeanor domestic battery in an incident in spring 2013. He is accused of punching a girlfriend of three years in the face during an argument April 1 at their Spring Valley home.

According to an arrest report, the girlfriend said the argument began when Coolio brought another woman to the house. It escalated into pushing, shoving and scratching, then with Coolio striking the woman in the lip with a closed fist. The woman’s middle right finger also was bleeding, and she had a visible tire mark on her right calf, police said.

Police were called when Coolio dropped the woman off at an urgent care clinic.

In a previous appearance, Coolio called the charges “bogus.”

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